- Suggested retail price: $199
- This Thursday at 6:30 p.m., we're pouring a one-ounce pour for $6
The Small Isles Distillery was founded on Jura by the Campbell family in 1810. Back then, the distillery produced a distinctly peaty whisky, very much akin to the whisky of its closest neighbor, Islay. The distillery operated continuously, though changing hands a few times, until 1901, when it is closed. At that time the stills were dismantled and the buildings left to ruin.
Much of Jura is uninhabitable blanket-bog and severe mountainous terrain. Deer outnumber sheep on the island by a considerable margin. In fact, “Jura” derives from a Norse term meaning “deer.” It is 30 miles long and 7 wide. It has one main road, one functioning church, one town and one distillery.
With the population dwindling, some local folks began to combine their resources to restart the distillery. It was not until 1963 that they were finally successful. The distillery immediately provided much needed jobs to ¼ of the male population. New and modern (for the time) distilling equipment was installed in the old buildings.
The whisky was, and is, of excellent quality. Stylistically, it’s quite a departure from the peaty/smoky whisky produced in the old stills and by its neighbors on Islay. Modern Jura whisky retains the intensity imparted by its cold Northern location, and there is a briny character that speaks of the sea, but without smoke or iodine. The very soft water flowing over the quartzite rocks of Jura gives to the singles lightness and pungent aroma. I find Jura whisky to be singular.
This week’s Spirits Project is from a barrel selected by merchant Silvio Samaroli in 1997 and bottled in 2013. I look forward to sharing a dram with you. Thursday, we will open just one bottle at precisely 6:30. When it's gone, it's gone. I do hope you can join us.
Next week in The Spirits Project
Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1